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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Fairfield, Virginia
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    So I am starting up beekeeping and bees will be here next week, but at my mother in-laws house they notice honeybees everywhere about an hour ago for the first time. I suited up and went to check it out. It looks like they have taken up hive in a hole in the house and bees are flying in and out everywhere. How do I go about getting them out. The hole is about 2 inches in dia. What can I do to get them? I would like to try to hive them. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Feb 2006
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    I took a stick and moved the insulation over, where the 2x4 goes across the cinder blocks they are coming out of there. Not really enough room to get my hand in there. Probing around with a stick gets them to come out but it does'nt look like they get too angry. I set a hive body on the ground about 5 feet under them. Don't know if it will do anything or not. Nobody has seen bees around there so I believe they just went in there. They were on the deck just feet away from where the bees are about two hours before this and said nobody saw the first bee.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,212

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    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    chatsworth, calif usa
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    405

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    Ruben-
    Pay particular close attention to the cone method.
    I used this method on some bees that had moved into a wall just a few days prior and it worked well.
    I combined the bees with another hive as i never got the queen to come out. Although some others have had her come out too.
    Because of the fact that they had not been in the wall but a couple of days, it was decided that once the bees stopped exiting, we would just plug the hole. We figured that there was not enough material( no brood no honey etc.) to worry about.
    It was very interesting and alot of fun.
    Main thing is to make sure you've got all other exits plugged as they will probably prefer one of them over the one with cone.
    Good luck and have fun!-j
    My Mom's other kids are smarter than me, but i'm not nearly as nice.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Fairfield, Virginia
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    MB Do you have plans or pictures I could see to build a cone trap? After me and the bees calmed down I looked back on things and here is what I have come up with. My mother in-law called and said thier were bees against the house everywhere. When I went there and put my jacket and veil on there were hundreds of bees flying around and I went up to where I saw them going into the hole and I watched a Bumble Bee fly out. After about an hour they calmed down and there was an average of about 30 bees hovering outside the entrance, with more bees coming in and out of the hole like a normal hive. I am thinking they may have been there longer than first thought and that the Bumble Bee was robbing them and got them stirred up. Because the way they were after about an hour I don't believe they would ever have been seen by anyone. This is my uneducated guess, what do you all think? Also I stuck my hand a little ways up in the hole which is large enough for me to get about half my forearm into and I did not feel anything, but they are in between two floor joists that run back about 12 feet. If they are established aprox how far back in the floor joists would they be from the wall? I have some serious adrenaline going on here. Thanks for all replies.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kiel WI, USA
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    2,368

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    They could be anywhere in those twelve feet, without seeing the hive, it's hard to know where they are. A stethoscope can be useful for that.

    http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/coneescapes.html

    Theres a diagram of a cone at the bottom of that page, it doesn't have to be pretty to work If you can get a frame of open brood in the hive body they'll take to it much better.

    If any of these guys are close, they could be a big help. http://www.ebeehoney.com/zVA.html

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Metairie, Louisiana
    Posts
    226

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    Ruben,
    if it is possible I would create some type of pilot hole so that you can view the nest cavity. You can use a drill with a holesaw or if possible remove a small area of the exterior.Be careful not to bang on any surfaces near the hive since they hate the vibrations this causes. Once you have determined the amount of comb you have you can then decide what to do next. It is of course always easier to relocate a hive if you can get the queen and or brood comb. Good luck.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, N.C.
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    Of all I have taken out from between floor joist, which is many, I have never seen one more than a foot or two from the outer wall. If the cone method isn't used, the next best way is to remove a portion of the ceiling in the lower room and they will be hanging from the floor of the upper room very near their entrance.

    But as said above, the cone is best if it can be utilized.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Fairfield, Virginia
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    I just talked with my father in-law, tomorrow we are going to try to locate the exact location of the hive. assuming we find it and tear out a section of drywall or exterior wall to access it. What would be the best method of getting the bees into a hive. I read somewhere about pulling out combs of brood and rubber banding it into some frames. Will this cause the colony to the enter the new hive? What would be the best approach?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    I think considering it appears that they just moved in, the cone method may work very well. If you could pinpoint it you might be able to do other things, but it's hard to beat the cone method for minimal damage to the structure.

    I just take a piece of screen door screen and roll int into a cone. Then I use some baling wire to lace it together. Then I unravel the top just a bit so I can make it tight enough they have to squeeze out but then can't get back in. You want a drone to be able to get out or it will get clogged. You staple this over the hole and seal more with duct tape until it's beeproof. Then watch to see if there are other entrances and close them off entirely. You'll need to watch to see if things are working. Personally I think a little lemongrass essential oil, or even some lemon pledge on a cotton ball might help to give them some nasonov to get them together. If you could get some Fischer's bee quick all the way down into the hole first, that might help drive them out as well.

    Sorry I haven't done a cone since I got my digital camera. I have no pictures of one. The concept, however, is a simple one. It's like a crawdad trap for bees. [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
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    6,973

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    reuben sezs:
    I read somewhere about pulling out combs of brood and rubber banding it into some frames. Will this cause the colony to the enter the new hive?

    tecumseh replies:
    there are any number of prior threads about physically transfering bees to tradional langstroth frames and boxs. if the 'girls' have just moved in on you, then likely they have not built a lot of comb. the process if very messy and getting the 'girls' to move into the box requires that you get the queen in the box as a minimum requirement for success.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Metairie, Louisiana
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    226

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    Ruben,
    If you don't have enough brood comb,(I would say at least three frames) You will need another queen on stand by if you are not able to catch the queen in this hive. Without brood comb and a queen this hive will not make it on its own. If you are able to locate the queen in this hive and have minimal brood comb or hardly any, you will need to treat them as a new package and feed them so they can build some comb. I have not done the cone method. I hear it takes forever and you may not get the queen in doing so. If you don't have a choice and have to use the cone method just remember you won't have any brood or comb for them to start up, unless I am misinformed and you have access to some brood comb from another colony. This is what I know from my experiences with removals, I hope it helps. Of course I don't have Michael Bush's extensive beekeeping knowledge and a few others on here but hope my two cents helps and I have three hives now that I have removed and they are doing fine. That's gotta count for something.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Fairfield, Virginia
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    I can't check them out until after 5pm today. They called and told me they hear noise above the ceiling in the lower room near the entrance point into the house. I have a small digital camera and when I go home I was going to try to get it up in there and take a picture to see if I can see anything. Also I have a mechanics stethescope with and long vacuum hose on it, I was going to see how far back in the joists the loudest of the noise was. I have no brood or queen at this time. Plus the only experience I have is what I am getting now. I may not get this hive but it won't be because I did'nt try! Ya got to start somewhere right. I will keep you posted on my progress later tonight. My father in-law says if we have to tear something out to get to them that is what he has insurance for and we will do it!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Raleigh, NC, USA
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    Ruben,
    If it's really a new swarm that's been there less than 5 days you can try this: Bore a small (1/2 inch) hole through the drywall ceiling/wall just beyond/below the swarm cluster. Use a stiff wire to push a long strip of cloth soaked in Bee Quick (I know Jim Fischer doesn't endorse this usage of his product) through the hole OR somehow spray the Bee Quick into the cavity. The bees (including the queen) will leave the cavity unless they already have comb and brood. The trick is to make them go out the exit rather than deeper into the celing or wall. If you place a baited hive (containing some drawn comb with at least one frame of open brood and nurse bees) entrance about 2 inches from the house exit the bees will gladly go into it as they come out of the house. This beats removing and replacing drywall which you can always do if this doesn't work. I've experimented with this appraoch on a couple of "new swarm" removals (that weren't really that new so I still had to open the cavity) and plan to try it on a week old colony this Thursday or Friday.
    Triangle Bees

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Raleigh, NC, USA
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    770

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    PS: I've never found a home owner's insurance that covers bee removals and/or the repairs needed after a removal. I know some home owners have asked their insurance and the answer was NO.
    Triangle Bees

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    If you put all the brood comb in the new hive they will move in, sure. [img]smile.gif[/img] That's a cut out.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Troupsburg, NY
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    "I will keep you posted on my progress later tonight. My father in-law says if we have to tear something out to get to them that is what he has insurance for and we will do it!"

    It is hard enough for an expericaned beekeep to do a cut out, let alone a newbe. You should take a deep breath and make a plan that has a reasonable chance of success, especially seeings how this is your inlaws house. The first thing you need, that you don't have, is a frame of brood and nurse bees to tend them. These would be used for the cone methoed of removing a hive from a house, and will entice the bees to move into a hive, vs trying to reenter the wall. The second thing is you have no idea how long these bees have been there. If you don't have the brood frame mentioned above, the bees will just try to reenter, and failing that will cluster on the outside of the house. You really need to relax and think about where you are going, and how to get there. It amazes me that the more expericanced keepers here arn't pointing this out. It is a long and involved process removing bees from a house, and it is very messy as well. Doing a cut out should not be your first thought, using the cone methoed would work much better if you have the resources to pull it off, which you don't. These bees arn't going anywhere, so don't rush in without a plan.
    "I reject your reality, and substitute my own." Adam Savage

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Metairie, Louisiana
    Posts
    226

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    Ruben,
    Peggjamm has made a very good point about thinking this through but I don't believe anyone will discourage you in tackling this endeavor. I would take precautions,precede when you are confident and clear as to what you are doing. Have the right protective gear,(full suit,smoker)It would also be a very good idea to have someone from your area who has done this before supervise you. I'm sure there has to be someone nearby willing to help. Anyway, have a plan and a backup plan and you can do this. Don't be afraid to ask questions and good luck!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Fairfield, Virginia
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    Our plan is to try to locate the hive and see how established they are by using the method I posted above. And as for a cut out we do have that down for a last resort only. I was just saying that if it comes to that then we will do it. I have enough room to get my digital camera in there if the picture will take being dark, then I hopefully will have a better idea of what I am dealing with. But if they are established and I get them out say with the cone method, won't all of the honey and wax melt and damage the drywall? If my post sounded like I was going to tear into the wall without a plan, that is not true. I am trying to explore all options and if I find they are established then I can wait til I get some brood. I was just thinking if they are not established it would be better to get them out before they get comfortable. I will keep you posted on my progress. Thanks for helping!

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Troupsburg, NY
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    I am not trying to discourage him from trying this. I feel however, that his first experiance with bees should not be doing a difficult cutout in his father-in-laws house. And I counted 7, yup, 7 beekeepers with at least some expericance doing these, egging him on. These newbies look to us to give them advice, and I am sure not liking the advice I see on this thread. It's easy to buy into his excitement, but that should not cloud our ability to give good advice on how to handle this.
    "I reject your reality, and substitute my own." Adam Savage

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